NOUS41 KWBC 051527



Service Change Notice 13-21

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

1146 AM EST Fri Mar 8 2013


TO:      Subscribers:

         -Family of Services

         -NOAA Weather Wire Service

         -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


         Other NWS Partners and NWS employees


From:    John Murphy

         Director, NWS Office of Science and Technology


Subject: Changes to Observations from USRCRN on or about

         April 6, 2013


US Regional Climate Reference Network (USRCRN) Precipitation

measurements from southwest region sites will be phased out over

several months beginning on or about April 6, 2013.


The current challenging and uncertain budget environment is

requiring NWS to conduct a thorough review of non-mission

critical functions. The USRCRN was intended to be a nationwide

network of over 500 sites performing high-quality temperature and

precipitation observations at a spatial resolution sufficient to

detect climate variations on a regional scale over the

continental United States. Due to budget constraints, the

deployment of sites was halted after 70 sites had been installed.

Areas covered included Alabama and the southwest region states of

Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. 


This action is proposed to mitigate the potential release of

hazardous materials from the precipitation sensor should adequate

funds not be available to continue normal operation and

maintenance of the network. Since there are no such environmental

issues with the temperature sensors, temperature measurements at

the USRCRN sites will continue.


Although the observations from the USRCRN sites provide value for

climate monitoring in supplementing observations from other

available observing systems in those areas, the USRCRN systems

are not required for NWS to perform its operational mission. 


Because maintenance will be completed at the Alabama sites,

precipitation measurements from these sites are planned to

continue through next fiscal year. In addition, temperature

measurements from all sites are also planned to continue through

the next fiscal year.


Information on the USRCRN program can be found at:


Data from the Southwest Regional USRCRN observations affected by

this change are located at:


For questions concerning these changes, please contact:


Bobby Martinez


Silver Spring, MD 20910

301-713-3391 ext 166


National Public Information Statements are available on line at: